Toss a canoe hull side down on still water and it will float there, stably, open side up until something acts on it.
Michicraft canoes are fairly bombproof. I have a 13 double-ended model very similar to 12' square stern you are considering. I find it useful for guiding with one person paddling and the other fishing. Two people fishing is a bit tight. You have to be awfully careful about rod tips, what the other guy is doing, whether you're both fishing the same side, and a few other things.
For a fishing comfort perspective, the 16' will be better.
However, it's bound to weigh a few tons. If you've got a pickup and can get a bed extender (I've done this), or if you can load it onto a trailer (this is what I do with my 17' canoe), that's the best solution.
If "stability" with the 16' canoe is truly of concern for you, and I don't think it will be unless you are doing some more serious ledgy water than I'd want to take an aluminum canoe through, you can always add outriggers fairly affordably. I call them "training wheels", which some people take as an insult. It's not meant as one. It's just what they look like to me. But there's more, they do the same things as training wheels - both good and bad. They do keep you more unlikely to flip, but they also can catch on obstacles and prevent leaning when you want to lean. They're still a very good solution, I'm just pointing out that they do have drawbacks.
Good luck. Have fun.
- Big D
4-place Boat Trailer
Overstock Outlet Foods
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